CGM positive for the health of people with type 1

Thursday, 19 November 2020

We now have more data on continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) for people with type 1 diabetes, than ever before.

A new study from the University of Gothenburg which tracked users over a number of years, shows that using CGM to continuously monitor blood glucose levels (BGLs) has positive health benefits.

In time, CGM technology will supersede portable blood glucose meters and multiple daily finger pricks as more people have access to it. So understanding how it supports patient health is vital for both the user and medical professionals.

How CGM technology works

With CGM, the nonstop measurement of blood glucose takes place by means of a fine subcutaneous fibre thread that tracks and reports the BGLs of the person wearing it. An alarm sets off a warning if the blood glucose level becomes too low or high.

Previous clinical trials of CGM technology investigated its use over a six month period. This latest trial from the University of Gothenburg, followed patients for up to two and a half years.

Positive health benefits

The study comprised 108 adult patients at 13 hospitals in Sweden. All the patients were being treated with insulin injections.

The results, published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care, demonstrated several positive long-term health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes. These included:

  • Average blood glucose (HbA1c) fell by 4 mmol/mol during the trial period. Even when patients were receiving less support from the studies healthcare team.
  • A reduction in the duration of low blood glucose levels, below 3.0 mmol/mol (hypoglycaemia), by approximately 70%.
  • Less fluctuations in people’s blood glucose levels overall. They were also less apprehensive about being unaware of hypos.
  • CGM technology supported people’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Why these results are important

Marcus Lind, Professor of Diabetology at, University of Gothenburg said,  “This study is important internationally because CGM isn’t available to most people in the world with type 1 diabetes. Long-term data is needed to show its benefits and support the case for more people to have access to CGM technology.

Our  study shows that when patients use CGM and receive clinical support, their diabetes management and wellbeing improve. This is important knowledge for people living with type 1 diabetes and their healthcare teams everywhere.”

Access to CGM in Australia

Access to fully subsidised CGM and flash glucose monitoring (Flash GM) products are available for eligible people with type 1 diabetes through the NDSS CGM Initiative. Information about the CGM Initiative and those people who are eligible can be found here.

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